Tag Archives: Hotels

5 Minutes Series: LinkedIn

The most common comment I hear about LinkedIn is “I’m on it, but I don’t really understand it.” 


The 5 Minute Series is designed to demystify the Social Media tools for hospitality, & help you apply them to your business. Here are two easy to apply aspects of LinkedIn.



 Let’s start with the LinkedIn homepage. Below the green box, “Build your network” you’ll see is Network Updates. This summarises all the goings on within your network connections – starting with you! 


1. What are you working on now?

As with most Social Networks, LinkedIn prompts you to update your status with a simple question. What are you working on now? enables you to share with the LinkedIn community what your current project is. Be informative yet succinct as you only have 140 characters available.


Why is this important? Each time you update your status, your whole network is updated. This creates a presence on their homepage for up to 2 weeks helping you stay top of mind.


This is true for all your activity on LinkedIn. If you update your page, make a new connection, join a group or create an event, your activity is then shared with all your connections. Piggy-backing on each others updates helps grow your LinkedIn profile easily & effortlessly.


2. Search

Today I am just going to talk about Search Groups with one specific idea in mind. You’ll probably think of other uses for Search based on this one application, so please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.


Search Groups is ideal for you if you have meeting & seminar rooms at your restaurant or hotel, or if you want to encourage and invite groups to frequent your premises whenever they get together for business or social functions.




From the toolbar at the top of your LinkedIn page you can easily Search Groups. To make your search more relevant, add the area that you are in to see what groups are closest to you. From these search results, you can further define your search using the box on the right-hand side that lists the different types of groups – corporate, conference, networking, non-profit etc.

Now you can start networking. You may choose to connect with the Owner of the group directly, or you might like to first look through the member’s list to see if you already have a connection within the group. Either way, you have just used LinkedIn to create an opportunity to get more people in your doors for real world results!


I’d love to hear how this has worked for you.



Tracy Tormai


Connect with me on LinkedIn here – Just send me a direct request and I’ll add you to my connections



5 Minute Series: Twitter (Don’t be a fail statistic)

It was recently reported that 60% of new Twitter users stop using within one month. It’s a pity, I find it lots of fun and educational. I can only think that they weren’t warmly welcomed into the Twitter fold because of one of 2 things.
1. They only followed the celebrities that the Twitter suggests when you first sign up, only to find that they are boring!
2. They haven’t filled out their profile details, so that other people don’t know who they are, and why they should follow them.

There are probably a number of other reasons, but recent experiences have me believing that these are high on the list.

Picture by Lauterhaus

Picture by Lauterhaus

1. Follow people who’s interests you share

I just caught up with a friend whom I recently coaxed on to Twitter. She told me how boring Twitter was. Shocked I asked who she was following. Like many a new user, her list consisted mostly of  celebrities. No wonder. When the likes of Ellen and Ashton Kutcher have 1 million+ followers, you can’t expect there to be much interaction with them. Even if you do catch their attention, it is unlikely they will follow back or reply (just check out their time-line). And you soon find out that they are just like us anyway.

Instead, follow people who are interested in the things you are interested in. Be it coffee addicts, hand crafters, alpaca farmers, wine lovers, hoteliers, artisans, travellers or raw vegans, you’ll have a more interesting and satisfying Twitter experience. I suggest you check out monitter to find people who are talking about what you are interested in. And there is an added bonus to following same interest people in your local area – it makes it possible to meet-up with them off-line.

2. Fill in your profile

It seems that the recent rush of Twitter popularity has newbies signing up but not filling in their details on their profile page. I must admit, this is my pet hate. I’ll admitI am not someone who will automatically follow back if you follow me. Instead I will check you out, see what your interests are, and also see what sort of things you tweet in your time-line. If all this is blank, I’m just not interested.

If you need to go back and fil in your information, simply click on your ‘Profile’ tab, and then ‘Settings’. It is a simple mini-bio. In keeping with the short message context of Twitter, you don’t have to do too much work, so make sure you utilise what you have.

Name: Even if you are Tweeting under your business name, it is still a good idea to put your real name here. There are 3 good reasons for this.

  1. It lets people know that they are following a real person
  2. If people know you, and not your business, they can still find & follow you
  3. Google will search by your real name and your Twitter username. So you maximise your SEO by using both!

And leave a space, not underscore, between your first and last name. 

Your Usernameis what will be displayed next to your tweets. Your business name can go here if you are tweeting for business. This helps build your brand on Twitter as people begin to associate your name with your message. And using your logo as your picture iconis also a good brand building exercise, as more people associate with your icon than your username.

More Info URLis where you can list your web or blog address, or any other online presence. On your profile page it does have limited visibility, so drop the www if you can and just use http:// but check the link to ensure it redirects to the right page.

Finally, the most important section is the One Line Bio. Here you have 160 characters to describe what you do and what you are interested in. It can be a simple explanation of why you are on Twitter, or just a list of tags like this – Hotelier, foodie, chef, traveller, coffee fan, foreign movie watcher, lover of the good life!

The last thing on this page is to ensure that the Protect my updates box is left unchecked. You want people to be able to follow you easily, and to see what you are all about.

A word of caution

In the beginning, if you want to be taken seriously, let your followers grow organically. There is nothing that screams “potential spammer” more than someone with no tweets who is following 2000+ people.


Tracy Tormai

Related Posts

5 Minute Series: Facebook Public Profiles

5 Minutes Series: LinkedIn

5 Minute Series: Flickr

Twitter + Hospitality = Customers!

It’s not (just) what you say…

He got up wearily from the table he was sitting at. He smiled and welcomed us, but I could tell he was just going through the motions. He lacked energy. It felt as if today it was an imposition to order our regular breakfast. If it wasn’t already a weekly ritual for us, I wonder if I would have even bothered ordering, or ever coming back.


Wow, I hadn’t even realised that I took all that in yesterday when I went to our favourite breakfast joint for a really yummy scrambled eggs (and GREAT coffee). It is amazing what we can pick up on the non-verbal plane. Every Monday I start the week with a lovely breakfast and a planning session at this cafe. I think that with the credit crunch, a lot of local places are beginning to feel the effect. And that’s what I feel is starting to show with this owner. His verve and energy is evaporating. And so is his welcome and warmth. The effect is that he is not inviting anymore and of course with that gone, so too go the customers.


You’ve probably heard that communication is made up of the words you use 7%, how you say something 38% and 55% comes from our body language. Depending on whether you are talking to your guest over the phone or face to face will determine the importance of the non-verbal. However, your physiology affects your psychology. This simply means that your posture affects your mood. Try slumping over your desk just now and put your head in your hands, and notice how this affects your thoughts and your mood. Things seem to slow down,… drag,… flatten,… depress… OK, enough of that! Sit up straight again, shoulders back, and smile 🙂 All this means that even over the phone, body language is still important even if it is not seen, it is still heard. Smiling makes you friendlier; standing makes you more commanding and authoritative, arms uncrossed make you more welcoming.


Here is a simple checklist to determine the importance of each aspect of these 3 categories. 



The words we use are important. Used with volition you can create a sequence that leads your caller to do your bidding. On the phone, these words become more important. 

  • Open ended questions
  • Positive
  • Fully finished (i.e. not mumbled or slurred in to each other)
  • Correct not slang (yes not yeah)

How you say it

Just as we want to be aware of the words that we use so that they produce positive internal representations in our guests mind, it is important to be aware of how we say things, the variations of the tone and other aspects listed below.

  • Tone
  • Pitch
  • Timbre
  • Speed/Rhythm
  • Articulation
  • Resonance
  • Nasality
  • Accent
  • Intonation/Stress
  • Emotion


Body Language

Finally, the all important non-verbal aspect of our communication. 

  • Personal Appearance – clothing, hairstyle, tidiness
  • Gestures
  • Eye contact
  • Facial Expressions
  • Posture – direction of lean, body orientation, arm position, and body openness


Just remember to be congruent with our communication; physiologically, verbally and intent. Body language and how we sound needs to match what we say. That means that we cannot have low energy and lackluster posture when we are trying to get someone excited about the prospect of staying at the hotel or eating in the restaurant.


To attract customers, you need to be attractive.


The “Yes-Frame”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Never, never, never assume”? or “Assume makes an ASS out of U and ME”? And yet we still make assumptions, instead of asking that can easily become questions that help maintain your client in a “Yes-Frame“.

A “Yes-Frame” is simply a series of questions that get your caller into the practice of saying “Yes”. A Yes frame of mind, so to speak. It is important because when the time comes for the caller to answer Yes to the most important question of the call, “Would you like to book that now?” they are well rehearsed. And the easiest way to achieve a “Yes-Frame” is by asking questions and not making assumptions.

Consider this example. It’s the before shot.

Agent: “Is that for just one night?” Caller: “No, three.”

Agent: “Just one person?” Caller: “No, with my husband.”

Agent: “And you’ll be flying in?” Caller: “No, we drive, our daughter died in a plane crash”

What sort of a head space do you think you have led your caller into? A positive one? I don’t think so… And each time the caller said “No”, what was being reinforced? “No!”

And “No” is where you have led the caller’s focus. You’ve got them in the habit of saying “No” so that when you ask the next question, that’s what they’ll want to answer, no? And when you get to the most important question of the call, asking for the sale, they will be well practised in saying “No”.

I think I’ve said “No” too many times now. That’s not where I want our focus to be. Time to get us back into a “Yes-Frame“!

Instead, we want the internal representations, the pictures, sounds, feelings that we are creating in the other person to be positive. When you make assumptions, you have less control over these internal pictures and feelings, than by simply asking questions. Simple questions to elicit transactional information can keep the conversation neutral until the caller gives you a hook. Then latch on!

Agent: “Howmany nights are you booking?” Caller: “Three.”

Agent: “And howmany adults and children are staying?” Caller: “Two adults.”

Agent: “How will you be arriving at the hotel?”  Caller: “We will be driving.”

Now we have something to work on! A conversation can actually occur now, quite naturally based on these answers. “Will you be driving far? We have a comfortable one bedroom suite that would suit a longer stay such as yours. And it has a spa so you can wash away all the driving aches so you are refreshed to start your stay. Are you travelling for leisure or on business?” As you become more adept at this, you start to see a pattern occur – pace, pace, lead – that enables you linguistically to get more sales, at better rates.

 The magic of the “Yes-Frame“, combined with pace, pace, lead is that you get the caller to start thinking about the benefits of staying with you, as opposed to the reasons why they shouldn’t.

All that being said, there is one thing, and only one thing that you should assume at all times – the sale! Stay tuned for the upcoming article – Assumption Gumption!

For now, all you have to remember and practise is asking questions that elicit a YES response.



Let’s get this out of the way first of all…

When you think the word “salesperson” what is the first image that flashes in your head?

Cheesy used-car salesman, right?

OK, in order for you to accumulate riches and have a full hotel and restaurant, the first thing that needs to occur is a mind-switch. Time to dump the old image and replace it with something that fits you better.

So why did you originally get into hospitality? 

Was it so you could help people enjoy themselves? Was it to provide a home-away-from-home for travellers? Was it because when you were a kid on holiday the best time you had was when you stayed at a hotel?  Would these reasons be a more genuine starting place for you to develop your personal image of a salesperson?

We can’t deny the fact that you need to sell in order for your business to survive. So that you can participate in other people’s lives by providing them with your hospitality, so that you can contribute to the community by employing people, and so that you can make a profit along the way. But selling comes in more sizes than just a used-car salesman.

What if you changed the meaning of “selling” to helping?

Helping people make an informed choice to stay at your hotel. Helping people have a fun time once they get to your hotel. Helping people choose the best wine to go with their meal. Helping people get what they ultimately want – whether it is a relaxing vacation, and smooth business function or a relaxed “time-out” where your guests can simply release all their normal responsibilities knowing that you will take care of everything for them.

If “helping” isn’t a sexy enough concept for you, how about “influencing” or “providing options” or just simply “service“? Do you believe that you have the best product? Do you and your team offer the best accommodation experience?

Don’t you owe it to your prospective guests to help them make the right decision to stay with you? Then that probably means throwing off the cloak of the old salesperson image and creating your own – one that you are comfortable inhabiting.

Have a think about some sales people that you might want to model instead – Richard Branson? Martin Luther King? Mother Teresa? Donald Trump? All have sold people on what they believed in.

So, what do you believe in, and how can you get people on side with you?